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Comment Only if you want your aircraft to crash (Score 1) 1067

Your assumption is simply wrong. It can only be expressed as "not a number" and your code should catch this.

There are all sorts of examples to show how allowing div by zero leads to any desired numerical result and not necessarily zero or infinity. My fave is sin(1/x)/x.

First note that f(x) = sin(1/x) is bounded by +1 and -1 but as x -> zero there is not even a limit. The sin frequency increases but it never tends towards any single value. Simple and wonderful.

Now try [sin(1/x)]/x, which has no upper or lower bounds and no limit as x -> zero. Beautiful.

Given your desire to simplify things, this function shows that setting div by zero to ANY number is as good as zero or max or any value you like. The logical conclusion is that any result with a div by zero in it is meaningless.

Coding calculations is very much about handling exceptions, such as div by zero, and controlling floating point accuracy. If you don't like dealing with what is required and if you don't understand why then perhaps you should leave the math to others. Seriously.

BTW, google will graph these functions for you... just enter "plot sin(1/x)/x" into the search dialogue.

endless frabjousity

Comment Thank you for actually reading the judgement... (Score 1) 62

Really. Not being sarcastic.

I'm not so familiar with QC law but generally in Canada, damages have to be proven, real, and accurate. To get $100K in damages the plaintiff would have to show the loss and not just pull a number out of the air. Further, punitive damages are reserved, AFAIK, for situations that truly deserve punishment.

This is the "common sense" aspect of the case. The judge looked at the facts and quickly determined that there ain't no way to show any loss let alone $100K. There certainly is no basis for punishment either.

You want to sue for damages that haven't happened then go South.

Comment Some options . . . (Score 2) 526

One option is what you did here on /. . . . but in a planned campaign that includes getting the VLC org on your side.

Another is civil (small claims) court. No lawyer necessary and guaranteed to cost Dell more than you if they fight it. You are very likely to get a judgement on your side if Dell doesn't send a representative. You can have oodles of fun serving the judgement on Dell. I have gone to civil court twice and both times the judge was very good.

In Alberta: http://www.albertacourts.ab.ca...

A bit of a windmill tilt since after all is said and done you could easily replace the speakers yourself for much less.

Your local state/provincial/federal government is bound to have a consumer affairs section which has an interest in making sure businesses treat consumers fairly. You could look into that.

Finally, go around the service desk if you can. See if you can make contact with someone other than a scripted service droid.

I had an HP inkjet that would not pick up paper no matter what I did. I had several trouble calls in with them while it was under warranty but nothing helped so I tossed the offender into the closet and got on with my life. About a year later (outside of the warranty) I happened to read online about a service kit from HP that would cure the problem. Free under warranty. Called HP up and you know they said too bad, so sad, your warranty has expired. They would sell the kit for $40 bucks plus shipping. Half the cost of the printer. I protested about my trouble calls and they said the tickets were no longer in the system.

On the off chance, I sent an email explaining my situation to the HP CEO as firstname.lastname@hp.com. Expecting nothing, I was floored when the next day I received a response from HP apologizing for the situation and that a kit plus a set of ink cartridges were being shipped to me.

I am sure that the email did not go to the CEO of the time (uh, about 8 yrs ago so ...) but someone read the mail and dealt with it.

Nice, but I wasted at least 40 hours on the issue. Wayyyyyyyyyyy more value than the printer. I shudda just thrown the darn thing out at the first sign of trouble.

How upset are you? How much are you prepared to put into it.

Have fun.

Comment Re:I predict lucrative markets for . . . (Score 2) 364

Yes! Exactly.

Think of anything that happens to personal computers and servers on the internet now and then imagine automobiles being rooted and forced into remote servitude.

I like the way you think.

Combine this with NFC purchasing and the obesity/heart disease problem could go through the roof with massive line ups at Jack-In-De-Box or what ever your favourite fat delivery system is.

Comment I predict lucrative markets for . . . (Score 1) 364

1. Jailbreaking vulnerable car systems

2. After-market engine performance and firewall firmware/hardware replacements

3. Advanced "radar" detectors which now become AIPS and AIDS (Authority Intrusion Prevention & Detection Systems)

4. Automotive GPS spoofs

etc etc

My guess is that since the NSA revelations, it is easy to give wing to any story about government intrusion into everyday life. It might even be true. I am sure that even if this story is out of the Weekly World News* bin, somebody in authority has given thought to the idea.

*things like: 26ft Chicken Caught in Texas and Alien Backs Bush in Election

Comment Re:Is funny, da? (Score 1) 348

Yup, exactly. Bad wording on my part.

Some of the fellas around me speculated that the "commies" sent us the rejects. I think things were just what they were with no evil planning.

I never saw any news stories about the issue but this was pre personal computing, pre widespread internet, and news gathering was a foot-and-mouth issue. The magnet item would never have surfaced. Probably because it is and would have been a non issue.


Comment Is funny, da? (Score 1) 348

From the Department of FWIW.

In the 1970's the semiconductor revolution was well established but there was still a lot of vacuum tube tech around, especially in the military. Equipment such as radio transmitters and high sensitivity receivers still used tubes because of unique properties they afforded or just because the tech just had not been updated.

By the mid 70's it was difficult to get a reliable tube supplier located in a NATO country. Soviet Russia was still firmly in the heated glass bottle camp with a high level of supply capability.

That's when the USSR became a NATO supplier.

From personal experience, I know much of civil and military stock of NATO vacuum tube parts were sourced from Russian or other Warsaw pact sources.

Mind you, I never saw a Soviet back door in a 12AT7. Neither did I see any performance issues or increased in-service failure rates. More stuff failed right out of the box but that was the case with the old stock we had that was sourced from Canada, the US, the UK and so on.

[A computer is] like an Old Testament god, with a lot of rules and no mercy. -- Joseph Campbell